Well, I screwed up a little with the contest.  We were in the midst of doing some updates when I ran it, so there were three more people who wanted to enter.  As penance I'm giving away 5 ARCs instead of 2, and one of the people shut out was a winner.  

Here goes:

Vicki Bailey

Karen W.

Diana (my oldest fan?)


Rosemary Brock

So guys, email me your snail mail address and a copy of CONSUMED BY FIRE will be flaming its way to you!


I'm Baaaack!

So the website went down.  It was a perfect storm of web-mess -- my domain name was about to expire but I couldn't get into the site.  The password was wrong and they kept saying they were sending me a link to make a new one and the link never arrived.  So, since my life was in chaos and despair I forgot about it.

My webmaster, Mollie, did yeoman work (whatever that is) and finally we're back.  The chaos is lurking on the edges but not currently in residence.  I've been able to write a little more (my frozen shoulder is making things extremely difficult).  But the stories are coming so I have to write, because otherwise my head will explode.

In honor of having my website back up I'm giving away two Advanced Reader Copies of CONSUMED BY FIRE, the first in the Fire series, American offshoot of the Ice series.  All you have to do is comment (I'm pretty sure comments work automatically now) and I'll do a random generator to pick two.  And if you don't win, don't fret.  There's be lots of other opportunities to win one, and trust me, it's wonderful!  (Or at least, that's what I think).  

I'll run it for three days and choose the winners Wednesday morning.  Trust me, it's worth its weight in gold, she says with her usual humility.



Life Update

Since last we spoke things went to hell in a hand basket, and I will spare you the details (mostly because they're not my details to share.)  I'm slowly, cautiously poking my head above the trenches to see whether it gets shot off or not, but so far, so good.

On the bra front (and who cares about the bra back) I've managed to get rid of about a dozen.  Which still leaves me with 37 -- is that possible?  I must persevere.

And I'm writing, but it's coming slowly because my rotator cuff issue makes typing difficult.  so I write longhand, dictate with Dragon, then go in and correct all the mistakes (though each version of Dragon gets better and better.

Hmmm.  I want a hero named Drago.  Such a cool name.  I think it belongs to a dissolute Italian count.  Oh, I already wrote a dissolute Italian count.  

I've made a number of discoveries in the past few weeks:

1.  Reading bad writing is so depressing it makes you stop wanting to write.  I'm reading some pretty painful RITA entries and it's having a bad effect on my motivation.

2.  However, I'm reading Jay Crownover's Better When He's Wild (I think that's the title -- it's about Race) and it's inspiring me, making my own characters feel more alive.  I think in the future I should only read terrific books like this one.

3.  Root canals DO still hurt.  They just hurt for a couple of days afterwards, not during the actual procedure.

4.  It's more painful when a member of the family goes through a hard time than when you go through a hard time.  I'm finally able to sleep at night.

5.  It's hard when I don't have anyone around to go "there, there" and make me feel better.

6.  It's hard to be facing our 40th wedding anniversary (on the first, Roger Daltrey's birthday) and not only can we not go on our much delayed honeymoon, but we can't even go out for dinner.  As for replacing my wedding ring and getting one for Richie -- don't make me laugh.  However, a great marriage is a lot more important than gold rings and trips to Hawaii or the Caribbean, so I won't whine.  Much.

That's pretty good for two weeks or so (well, number 6 isn't good but my mother was a martyr so I don't want to be).  And besides, I've got a terrific book to read, and that makes most of the bad stuff go away.  After all, that's why I read, and write.  To make the bad stuff go.

Anyone read something fabulous that banished your demons?

Bra Progress

Well, i'm progressing slowly with the bra decluttering.   I tossed the belly dancing costume (sigh -- I still have the skirt with like ten yards of chiffon and anyway, who wants to see a 67 year old belly dancer?  Then again, I've seen an ancient female flamenco dancer and she was cool as hell). I found I have 7 of my favorite bras, so I can't give up those, I have three leopard print bras, two with underwires, so I'm wearing them to see how comfortable they are.  The one without wires made the grade (and it's purple!) so now I'm wearing the the beige one

Aiyeee!!!!!!!!  I tried to take a picture of me in the bra, with all other parts decently covered, and there were these two massive, leopard cantaloups.  Oh, the horror!  You're going to have to miss my modeling.  I may have to toss this one just for the PTSD of seeing that photo.

I've tossed three front closing bras, and I'm trying to be tough but damn, it's hard, particularly when we're dealing with a family crisis as we speak.  I'll explain about that after it's dealt with, but God knows, it ain't easy.

However, through it all I am writing.  Usually up in the bedroom, long hand, though I did do some work straight into the computer over the weekend.  Since then I've gotten up at 5 or 6 in the morning, gone downstairs and started writing longhand in my Clairfontaine notebook (yes, I'm one of those tiresome writers who swears by her Clairefontaine).  I use a fountain pen nowadays and the ink just flows over the elegant paper, making it much less painful on the hands.  Nevertheless last night my right hand was aching and I had no idea why.  It wasn't until I started writing at 5:10 am that it struck me.  However I have nice warming mitts I can put in the microwave to soothe them, and I'll do exercises in between.  The problem with the rotator cuff is it hurts to be in my usual writing position (in a recliner with the laptop on a lap desk) and I haven't found an alternative.  So long hand it is, and the book seems to be demanding it.

My plan is to attempt to write two books at a time, which is tricky, but I'm hoping with the long hand it'll be easier to do.  Writing long-hand gives you an enforced intimacy with your work (whereas dictating straight into the machine, which I've found I've been able to do, gives an enforced distance).  So the plan is to work my ass of during the week on the book with the deadline, and work my ass off on the weekend with Brandon and Emma.  I always liked to alternate romantic suspense with historical, though I did them back to back.   Maybe I can do them back to back during the week and weekend.  Otherwise I'll finish this one (the second FIRE book nee American ICE) and then finish up Brandon and Emma right afterwards, while I'm waiting for all the diddly shit stuff we have to do, like revisions and page proofs and cover copy and stuff.  Well, it's not diddly shit, but I consider anything that's not putting new words down on paper (or actually the computer screen) to be fake work.  The only real work is creating new stuff.  A weird head set, when all that other stuff (particularly revisions) is so important, but there you go.

So I've already written 6 pages long hand, drank my coffee, had a shower, sewed the gathering stitches on the ruffle and the waist of the doll dress I'm making, dealt with psychiatrists (not mine) and written to you guys.

Lesson for today.  Do not take a picture of your boobs in a leopard skin bra and put it on the internet.  Lesson number two -- keep writing, no matter how bad things are in the household, no matter what the crisis. 

Lesson number three -- try to enjoy yourself anyway (the gathering stitches on the doll clothes, e.g.).  And don't dive head first into chocolate or whatever your drug of choice is, no matter how tempted.

So saith the Wise Woman of romance writing (or at least one of the longest-lived).  Jane Krentz, Jennifer Blake and Ann Maxwell have been writing a little bit longer then me, but not much, and I, the all-knowing Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock, feel wise enough to pass on my learning).

So make sure today's work includes having fun, no matter what kind of crisis you're in.  If I can do it between tears then so can you.